Sunday, October 31, 2010

Acoss My Desk (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Acoss My Desk (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Presenting: The K12 Online Conference!

This past week was the first of TWO full weeks of presentations and excellent professional development opportunities through the K12 Online Conference 2010.

I have been madly downloading and watching video presentations (mostly on my iPad, love it!) and gathering new ideas and inspiration. The schedule is rich with variety from this week focusing on Leading the Change and Student Voices. Don't forget ALL K12 Online Conference presentations can be downloaded/subscribed to from iTunesU

In this blog post however I wish to feature the two videos that I was involved in co-producing.

Create the Future: Think, Learn, Create!
Presented by Kim Cofino and Julie Lindsay
K12 Online Conference website link
K12 Online Conference Ning link - Join the discussion!
Over the past three years, international educators and global collaboration experts Kim Cofino and Julie Lindsay have together run workshops within schools that are designed to open doors to new modes of teaching and learning and focus on the learner (teacher and student) as a communicator, collaborator and creator. A hands-on approach is emphasized in the workshops with opportunities for learners at all levels to explore, discuss and model 21st Century pedagogy using digital tools. The focus of the workshop is for participants to design an engaging, technology-rich, collaborative project to implement in their classroom. This presentation will share via video the methodology of the ‘Create the Future’ workshop and focus on participants as they work through the challenges presented during the two days.

Discussion questions:
  1. How can we meet the demands of 21st Century learning and professional development for educators and embed action into process?
  2. Is effective professional development about the tools or the learning or both? Why?
  3. How can we take the methods outlined in this workshop and apply them to our classroom pedagogy?

Inside ITGS: Cyber-Students Share their Connected Learning
K12 Conference Ning link - Join the discussion!
Inside ITGS is about classrooms globally coming together to form an online learning community for the IB subject Information Technology in a Global Society. Madeleine Brookes from Western Academy Beijing and Julie Lindsay from Beijing (BISS) International School, both in China, explore the impact of virtual communication and collaboration and feature the students from pioneer classrooms in a rare face-to-face meeting. It is through their eyes, as cyber-students, that we will learn more about how to use emerging technologies and build stronger more effective learning communities.

Discussion questions:

  • In what ways are we able to provide for each individual student? Are we able to differentiate to cater for all needs? 
  • In what ways does a collaborative environment such as this provide wider opportunities for our students?
  • What does it mean to be part of a global community? What are the challenges? 
  • What do you see as some of the impacts of virtual communication and collaboration?
Looking forward to feedback from readers on these presentations!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Acoss My Desk (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

PD opportunity: Online conferences on now!

The growing trend towards virtual conferences provides opportunities for professional development to many educators around the world. If access to the Internet is available, and connection is adequate the 'world is open' (to quote Curtis Bonk!) and extraordinary people doing amazing things are merely a click away!  Two conferences I want to bring to your attention are on simultaneously over the next two weeks. Both of these I am involved with as a presenter, but each one has its own characteristics.

Free and online and mostly synchronous

The CRSTE (Capital Regions Society for Technology in Education) Global Symposium 2010 starts today, and runs for two weeks. A diverse and global group of educators, including me, have been invited to present via the Elluminate virtual classroom, on topics of global and local importance. I am pleased to see a number of colleagues and cutting edge education leaders also presenting including Shabbi Luthra from Mumbai and Jeff Utecht from Bangkok. This event is free and online and largely synchronous. Consider attending at least one session! My session is Sunday October 24, 7pm EDT, 11pm GMT (7am Beijing time on Monday morning October 25). See the full program for all details.

Free and online and asynchronous - including some synchronous fireside chats 
The K12 Online Conference is now in its 5th year, and this is the 5th year I have been privileged to be presenting. Opening last Monday with the pre-conference keynote by Dean Shareski, the conference goes into full swing Monday October 18 when over the next 2 weeks pre-recorded presentations in the form of videos are released each day (normally 4 each day, each video running for about 20 min).
This online conference is a great opportunity to gather your colleagues into informal what has been termed 'LAN parties' with a view to watching a selection of the presentations in one sitting, discussing and sharing reflections and making sense of new ideas in the context of daily challenges in a current school. The full program shares all presentations and release times. The four strands are 'Student Voices', 'Leading the Change', 'Kicking it Up a Notch' and 'Week in the Classroom'.
This year I am co-presenting with two wonderful colleagues, Kim Cofino and Madeleine Brookes, on two very different themes. Coincidentally both presentations are being released on the same day - Thursday October 21, so watch out for these.

To encourage participation in the K12 Online Conference, here is Dean's opening Keynote, "Sharing: The Moral Imperative". Dean has such a wonderful, friendly, non-threatening presentation style. I always enjoy and learn from him!  I also fully empathize with his message and believe this video should be mandatory viewing at educator PD sessions. Thanks Dean!

In addition, here is the teaser from the 'Inside ITGS' presentation Madeleine and I have put together. I hope you will watch the full video on Thursday next week!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Acoss My Desk (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Learning 2.010 and Global Digital Citizenship

This is a long overdue blog post to document and reflect on the Learning 2.0 event held in Shanghai about 3 weeks ago! The link will take you to a Moodle site, but without membership you will not see a lot. This conference was in it's third inception (having also run in 2007 and 2008). I was pleased to be an invited presenter in 2008 and my presentations then included '7 Steps to Flatten your Classroom', 'Mobile, Digital and Ubiquitous', and 'Digiteen, Digiteacher'.  My further reflection from 2008 brought back intense memories of excellent conversation and networking with much admired colleagues. It also made me realise how much more time I had for BLOGGING 2 years ago!

So what happened at Learning 2.010?
Led by Jeff Utecht and conference team (many thanks for hard work putting this together!) the event was based on two main ideas:
  • Cohort groups working together over 2 days to work through ideas and objectives and to come up with a useful 'product' whether it be personal or group
  • Unconference sessions offered by anyone based on interest and expertise at the time
Scaffolding these two main strands were essential information giving sessions, food opportunities and times to talk and network. There were no keynotes, there was no official razzle/dazzle opening or closing, however there was a gathering at both the beginning and end deliver acknowledgements. 

Cohort Leadership
As an invited cohort leader I was in Shanghai 2 days before the event officially opened, meeting and working with other cohort leaders to make sense of what we were charged with. Essentially we were given a general topic and asked to make sense of it, build a learning relationship with our cohort and provide the means for further development, learning and sharing. By the end of the conference participants should have worked through certain activities, joined teams, discussed and created a 'product' to take back with them. The cohorts were diverse including 'Education in 2020', 'First Steps in Changing the Classroom', 'Leading the Pack: Leadership for Change'. My cohort was 'Relationship between Teachers and Students'. Many of the cohort leaders joined forces, or there were enough people to make two separate cohorts but they joined together at key points during the sessions. I worked essentially alone. In retrospect having a co-leader for the cohort could have given participants more variety and provided another flow of ideas and energy into what we did.

Unconference sessions
Many of the unconference sessions were about tools and skill development....something we will never get away from! Kim Cofino and I co-lead the 'Globally Collaborative Projects' unconference. I attended one iPad unconference and picked up some new apps. The unconference sessions provide for a user-determined learning environment and are an essential feature of this 21st Century style conference. It puts the onus onto the participant to actively offer and/or choose sessions of relevance and interest. People then vote with their feet. It also gives attendees a chance to 'present' as such as the normal route for offering presentations at this event is not open.
Julie Lindsay unconference idea
Julie offering an unconference idea! from @betchaboy

The concept and practice of digital citizenship in a global sense was the main focus of my cohort. We had 4 x 1.5 hours (approx.) to work together on this. From the wiki.......

Guiding Questions:
  • What does collaborative learning and digital citizenship look like in a global context?
  • What does it mean to be a responsible, reliable and respectful learner as well as culturally sensitive and globally aware?
  • How can we embed social media and collaborative learning using emerging technologies effectively within global digital citizenship guidelines?
  • How can we create the MODEL of the way forward?
Cohort Outcomes:
  • Participants will walk away with an understanding of what digital citizenship is in a global sense
  • The group will have started to create meaningful resources that can be taken back to all schools for further review and implementation in order to promote effective digital citizenship working modes for communication, collaboration and creation
  • A community of learners will have been established with a focus on creating and leading the MODEL of the WAY FORWARD
Using Digital Life Parent/Teacher Intro from Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship for 6-8 as an initial catalyst for discussion we explored what it means to have a digital life, what a global digital citizen is and how we can best use this information back in our schools and classrooms to support learning rather than inhibit learning.

Working in teams cohort members came up with their own set of resources. I particularly like the work of Team 1 (thanks to @intrepidteacher for leadership in this team) who created a set of statements based on "A Global Digital Citizen is......." and added slides and words from the IB learner profile! I have already taken these ideas back to my school here in Beijing and presented this at a staff meeting where the topic was in fact how we deal with 'inappropriate' behaviour with the use of laptops. Coming towards a shared understanding of what it means to be digital, global and using mobile technology for learning can be scaffolded by these points:

A Global Digital Citizen is:

  1. Someone who is open and curious. Is proactive and open-minded, wanting to drive their own learning forward with the use of technology. (open-minded, inquirers, risk-takers)
  2. Someone who knows his or her identity and is aware of their digital footprint and actively explores, creates and promotes it by building communities of like-minded people; thereby, breaking down walls metaphorically and physically. Understands and uses the power of multiple technological devices with a defined direction and sense of purpose as a tool to self improve, educate, share and inspire (risk-taker, caring)
  3. Someone who is aware and mindful of themselves, their community and the big picture of the world around them. Is someone who has a thirst for cultural awareness and social networking in order to gain knowledge about the world that surrounds him or her (inquirers, knowledgeable)
  4. Someone who can communicate their views, feelings and ideas respectfully and responsibly online. Develops a greater sense of empathy, collaboration, innovation, curiosity and responsibility when exploring the world through digital media (caring, inquirer, principled)

Jeff Utecht, Julie Lindsay and Darren Kuropatwa
Jeff, Utecht, Julie Lindsay and Darren Kuropatwa from @betchaboy

A special photo to me as Jeff and Darren were two of the four original judges for the very first Flat Classroom Project in 2006. This is the first time I had met Darren in person!

Wesley Fryer, Kim Cofino and Julie Lindsey
Wes Fryer, Kim Cofino, Julie Lindsay from @wfryer

Now What?
Learning 2.010 was another excellent experience, a successful event and I was delighted to meet up with cohort leading colleagues who came from around the world, many of whom I had only known through online interaction eg Chris Betcher, Alec Couros, Darren Kuropatwa, Liz Davis; many of whom I had been at conferences with before and always enjoy working with, including Madeleine Brookes, Kim Cofino, Wes Fryer, Steve Hargadon.
The evolution and acceptance of this cohort driven and unconference focused event has been interesting to see. Jeff Utecht has driven this along with the support of a group of schools in Shanghai and support from EARCOS. Asia is a vibrant, thriving education community and the conference itself was oversubscribed! Kudos to all organisers and planners for an amazing event. Will it run again in 2012? What will it look like then? How will the needs of improved learning feed into a user-directed event so that everyone can come away feeling satisfied that they have new goals, direction and motivation in their everyday lives in the classroom and meeting room? Is there still a place for some 'keynote' or 'Tedx talk' events during such a conference in order to provide further discussion and to make the event with a time-stamp, eg this is what we are up to in the year 20......, these are people working in education at the cutting edge etc. I am in two minds about this. I love the breaking down of tradition and the new approach, I also wonder if a more combined model is also worth considering? What about the inclusion of students? If we are talking about learning should we include them?  I had an excellent student representative in my cohort! She led the conversation and motivated the adults. I was impressed but not surprised.....after running Flat Classroom Student Summits and workshops I know how powerful this is!

If you attended Learning 2.010 I invite you to respond to this blog post and share your experiences. How would you run Learning 2.012? Where should this conference go in format, scope, outcomes?

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Acoss My Desk (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.